A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
The longterm manifestations of WEATHER. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
A computer simulation developed to study the motion of molecules over a period of time.
The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)
The study of systems which respond disproportionately (nonlinearly) to initial conditions or perturbing stimuli. Nonlinear systems may exhibit "chaos" which is classically characterized as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Chaotic systems, while distinguished from more ordered periodic systems, are not random. When their behavior over time is appropriately displayed (in "phase space"), constraints are evident which are described by "strange attractors". Phase space representations of chaotic systems, or strange attractors, usually reveal fractal (FRACTALS) self-similarity across time scales. Natural, including biological, systems often display nonlinear dynamics and chaos.
Life Cycle Stages
The continuous sequence of changes undergone by living organisms during the post-embryonic developmental process, such as metamorphosis in insects and amphibians. This includes the developmental stages of apicomplexans such as the malarial parasite, PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM.
A large, subclass of arachnids comprising the MITES and TICKS, including parasites of plants, animals, and humans, as well as several important disease vectors.
The discipline studying genetic composition of populations and effects of factors such as GENETIC SELECTION, population size, MUTATION, migration, and GENETIC DRIFT on the frequencies of various GENOTYPES and PHENOTYPES using a variety of GENETIC TECHNIQUES.
Conservation of Natural Resources
The protection, preservation, restoration, and rational use of all resources in the total environment.
The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.
A monocot family within the order Liliales. This family is divided by some botanists into other families such as Convallariaceae, Hyacinthaceae and Amaryllidaceae. Amaryllidaceae, which have inferior ovaries, includes CRINUM; GALANTHUS; LYCORIS; and NARCISSUS and are known for AMARYLLIDACEAE ALKALOIDS.
Free-floating minute organisms that are photosynthetic. The term is non-taxonomic and refers to a lifestyle (energy utilization and motility), rather than a particular type of organism. Most, but not all, are unicellular algae. Important groups include DIATOMS; DINOFLAGELLATES; CYANOBACTERIA; CHLOROPHYTA; HAPTOPHYTA; CRYPTOMONADS; and silicoflagellates.
The inter- and intra-relationships between various microorganisms. This can include both positive (like SYMBIOSIS) and negative (like ANTIBIOSIS) interactions. Examples include virus - bacteria and bacteria - bacteria.
Any of several carnivores in the family CANIDAE, that possess erect ears and long bushy tails and are smaller than WOLVES. They are classified in several genera and found on all continents except Antarctica.
Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun's intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation, or human activities.
Parasitic Diseases, Animal
Frozen water crystals that fall from the ATMOSPHERE.
A family of the order DIPTERA that comprises the mosquitoes. The larval stages are aquatic, and the adults can be recognized by the characteristic WINGS, ANIMAL venation, the scales along the wing veins, and the long proboscis. Many species are of particular medical importance.
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.
Differential and non-random reproduction of different genotypes, operating to alter the gene frequencies within a population.
One of the three domains of life (the others being Eukarya and ARCHAEA), also called Eubacteria. They are unicellular prokaryotic microorganisms which generally possess rigid cell walls, multiply by cell division, and exhibit three principal forms: round or coccal, rodlike or bacillary, and spiral or spirochetal. Bacteria can be classified by their response to OXYGEN: aerobic, anaerobic, or facultatively anaerobic; by the mode by which they obtain their energy: chemotrophy (via chemical reaction) or PHOTOTROPHY (via light reaction); for chemotrophs by their source of chemical energy: CHEMOLITHOTROPHY (from inorganic compounds) or chemoorganotrophy (from organic compounds); and by their source for CARBON; NITROGEN; etc.; HETEROTROPHY (from organic sources) or AUTOTROPHY (from CARBON DIOXIDE). They can also be classified by whether or not they stain (based on the structure of their CELL WALLS) with CRYSTAL VIOLET dye: gram-negative or gram-positive.
Wormlike or grublike stage, following the egg in the life cycle of insects, worms, and other metamorphosing animals.
The functions, behavior, and activities of bacteria.
A huge subclass of mostly marine CRUSTACEA, containing over 14,000 species. The 10 orders comprise both planktonic and benthic organisms, and include both free-living and parasitic forms. Planktonic copepods form the principle link between PHYTOPLANKTON and the higher trophic levels of the marine food chains.
A theorem in probability theory named for Thomas Bayes (1702-1761). In epidemiology, it is used to obtain the probability of disease in a group of people with some characteristic on the basis of the overall rate of that disease and of the likelihood of that characteristic in healthy and diseased individuals. The most familiar application is in clinical decision analysis where it is used for estimating the probability of a particular diagnosis given the appearance of some symptoms or test result.
Slender-bodies diurnal insects having large, broad wings often strikingly colored and patterned.
Sequence Analysis, DNA
A family of the order DIPTERA with over 700 species. Important species that may be mechanical vectors of disease include Musca domesticus (HOUSEFLIES), Musca autumnalis (face fly), Stomoxys calcitrans (stable fly), Haematobia irritans (horn fly) and Fannia spp.
An order of the class Insecta. Wings, when present, number two and distinguish Diptera from other so-called flies, while the halteres, or reduced hindwings, separate Diptera from other insects with one pair of wings. The order includes the families Calliphoridae, Oestridae, Phoridae, SARCOPHAGIDAE, Scatophagidae, Sciaridae, SIMULIIDAE, Tabanidae, Therevidae, Trypetidae, CERATOPOGONIDAE; CHIRONOMIDAE; CULICIDAE; DROSOPHILIDAE; GLOSSINIDAE; MUSCIDAE; TEPHRITIDAE; and PSYCHODIDAE. The larval form of Diptera species are called maggots (see LARVA).
An order of BIRDS including over 300 species that primarily inhabit coastal waters, beaches, and marshes. They are comprised of shorebirds, gulls, and terns.
Woody, usually tall, perennial higher plants (Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, and some Pterophyta) having usually a main stem and numerous branches.
A phylum of bacteria comprised of three classes: Bacteroides, Flavobacteria, and Sphingobacteria.
An animal or plant species in danger of extinction. Causes can include human activity, changing climate, or change in predator/prey ratios.
The reduction or regulation of the population of noxious, destructive, or dangerous insects through chemical, biological, or other means.
The prevention of growth and or spread of unwanted plants.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
The capability of an organism to survive and reproduce. The phenotypic expression of the genotype in a particular environment determines how genetically fit an organism will be.
Ecological Systems, Closed
Systems that provide for the maintenance of life in an isolated living chamber through reutilization of the material available, in particular, by means of a cycle wherein exhaled carbon dioxide, urine, and other waste matter are converted chemically or by photosynthesis into oxygen, water, and food. (NASA Thesaurus, 1988)
The simplest saturated hydrocarbon. It is a colorless, flammable gas, slightly soluble in water. It is one of the chief constituents of natural gas and is formed in the decomposition of organic matter. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)
Colony Count, Microbial
Enumeration by direct count of viable, isolated bacterial, archaeal, or fungal CELLS or SPORES capable of growth on solid CULTURE MEDIA. The method is used routinely by environmental microbiologists for quantifying organisms in AIR; FOOD; and WATER; by clinicians for measuring patients' microbial load; and in antimicrobial drug testing.
Tools or devices for generating products using the synthetic or chemical conversion capacity of a biological system. They can be classical fermentors, cell culture perfusion systems, or enzyme bioreactors. For production of proteins or enzymes, recombinant microorganisms such as bacteria, mammalian cells, or insect or plant cells are usually chosen.
Oceans and Seas
A great expanse of continuous bodies of salt water which together cover more than 70 percent of the earth's surface. Seas may be partially or entirely enclosed by land, and are smaller than the five oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic).
Any arthropod of the subclass ACARI except the TICKS. They are minute animals related to the spiders, usually having transparent or semitransparent bodies. They may be parasitic on humans and domestic animals, producing various irritations of the skin (MITE INFESTATIONS). Many mite species are important to human and veterinary medicine as both parasite and vector. Mites also infest plants.
The family Cervidae of 17 genera and 45 species occurring nearly throughout North America, South America, and Eurasia, on most associated continental islands, and in northern Africa. Wild populations of deer have been established through introduction by people in Cuba, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and other places where the family does not naturally occur. They are slim, long-legged and best characterized by the presence of antlers. Their habitat is forests, swamps, brush country, deserts, and arctic tundra. They are usually good swimmers; some migrate seasonally. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1362)
A genus of the family BACULOVIRIDAE, subfamily Eubaculovirinae, characterized by ovicylindrical occlusion bodies. The type species is Cydia pomonella granulovirus.
A genus of mosquitoes (CULICIDAE) that are known vectors of MALARIA.
A genus of marine mussels in the family MYTILIDAE, class BIVALVIA. The species MYTILUS EDULIS is the highly edible common mussel.
RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
A body of water covering approximately one-fifth of the total ocean area of the earth, extending amidst Africa in the west, Australia in the east, Asia in the north, and Antarctica in the south. Including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, it constitutes the third largest ocean after the ATLANTIC OCEAN and the PACIFIC OCEAN. (New Encyclopaedia Britannica Micropaedia, 15th ed, 1990, p289)
Ecological and Environmental Phenomena
Reproduction without fusion of two types of cells, mostly found in ALGAE; FUNGI; and PLANTS. Asexual reproduction occurs in several ways, such as budding, fission, or splitting from "parent" cells. Only few groups of ANIMALS reproduce asexually or unisexually (PARTHENOGENESIS).
The act of feeding on plants by animals.
An order of heavy-bodied, largely terrestrial BIRDS including pheasants, TURKEYS, grouse, QUAIL, and CHICKENS.
A large order of insects characterized by having the mouth parts adapted to piercing or sucking. It is comprised of four suborders: HETEROPTERA, Auchenorrhyncha, Sternorrhyncha, and Coleorrhyncha.
The non-genetic biological changes of an organism in response to challenges in its ENVIRONMENT.
Theoretical construct used in applied mathematics to analyze certain situations in which there is an interplay between parties that may have similar, opposed, or mixed interests. In a typical game, decision-making "players," who each have their own goals, try to gain advantage over the other parties by anticipating each other's decisions; the game is finally resolved as a consequence of the players' decisions.
Any of numerous winged hymenopterous insects of social as well as solitary habits and having formidable stings.
An inactive stage between the larval and adult stages in the life cycle of insects.
A set of statistical methods used to group variables or observations into strongly inter-related subgroups. In epidemiology, it may be used to analyze a closely grouped series of events or cases of disease or other health-related phenomenon with well-defined distribution patterns in relation to time or place or both.
Waste Disposal, Fluid
Non-native organisms brought into a region, habitat, or ECOSYSTEM by human activity.
Monte Carlo Method
In statistics, a technique for numerically approximating the solution of a mathematical problem by studying the distribution of some random variable, often generated by a computer. The name alludes to the randomness characteristic of the games of chance played at the gambling casinos in Monte Carlo. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed, 1993)
Changes in biological features that help an organism cope with its ENVIRONMENT. These changes include physiological (ADAPTATION, PHYSIOLOGICAL), phenotypic and genetic changes.
The change in gene frequency in a population due to migration of gametes or individuals (ANIMAL MIGRATION) across population barriers. In contrast, in GENETIC DRIFT the cause of gene frequency changes are not a result of population or gamete movement.
A species of mosquito in the genus Anopheles and the principle vector of MALARIA in Africa.
A genus of bacteria comprised of a heterogenous group of gram-negative small rods and coccoid forms associated with arthropods. (From Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, vol 1, 1984)
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.
A climate which is typical of equatorial and tropical regions, i.e., one with continually high temperatures with considerable precipitation, at least during part of the year. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
A large plant family of the order Asterales, subclass Asteridae, class Magnoliopsida. The family is also known as Compositae. Flower petals are joined near the base and stamens alternate with the corolla lobes. The common name of "daisy" refers to several genera of this family including Aster; CHRYSANTHEMUM; RUDBECKIA; TANACETUM.
Pest Control, Biological
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
The encapsulated embryos of flowering plants. They are used as is or for animal feed because of the high content of concentrated nutrients like starches, proteins, and fats. Rapeseed, cottonseed, and sunflower seed are also produced for the oils (fats) they yield.
A genus of planorbid freshwater snails, species of which are intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni.
The unconsolidated mineral or organic matter on the surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.
A widely distributed order of perching BIRDS, including more than half of all bird species.
A rigorously mathematical analysis of energy relationships (heat, work, temperature, and equilibrium). It describes systems whose states are determined by thermal parameters, such as temperature, in addition to mechanical and electromagnetic parameters. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 12th ed)
Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
Physiological processes and properties of BACTERIA.
Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.
PASSERIFORMES of the suborder, Oscines, in which the flexor tendons of the toes are separate, and the lower syrinx has 4 to 9 pairs of tensor muscles inserted at both ends of the tracheal half rings. They include many commonly recognized birds such as CROWS; FINCHES; robins; SPARROWS; and SWALLOWS.
A technique for identifying individuals of a species that is based on the uniqueness of their DNA sequence. Uniqueness is determined by identifying which combination of allelic variations occur in the individual at a statistically relevant number of different loci. In forensic studies, RESTRICTION FRAGMENT LENGTH POLYMORPHISM of multiple, highly polymorphic VNTR LOCI or MICROSATELLITE REPEAT loci are analyzed. The number of loci used for the profile depends on the ALLELE FREQUENCY in the population.
Animate or inanimate sources which normally harbor disease-causing organisms and thus serve as potential sources of disease outbreaks. Reservoirs are distinguished from vectors (DISEASE VECTORS) and carriers, which are agents of disease transmission rather than continuing sources of potential disease outbreaks.
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and ARCHAEA), also called Eukarya. These are organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. They comprise almost all multicellular and many unicellular organisms, and are traditionally divided into groups (sometimes called kingdoms) including ANIMALS; PLANTS; FUNGI; and various algae and other taxa that were previously part of the old kingdom Protista.
Multicellular, eukaryotic life forms of kingdom Plantae (sensu lato), comprising the VIRIDIPLANTAE; RHODOPHYTA; and GLAUCOPHYTA; all of which acquired chloroplasts by direct endosymbiosis of CYANOBACTERIA. They are characterized by a mainly photosynthetic mode of nutrition; essentially unlimited growth at localized regions of cell divisions (MERISTEMS); cellulose within cells providing rigidity; the absence of organs of locomotion; absence of nervous and sensory systems; and an alternation of haploid and diploid generations.
Large natural streams of FRESH WATER formed by converging tributaries and which empty into a body of water (lake or ocean).
The salinated water of OCEANS AND SEAS that provides habitat for marine organisms.
Diseases of plants.
Body Weights and Measures
The class Insecta, in the phylum ARTHROPODA, whose members are characterized by division into three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They are the dominant group of animals on earth; several hundred thousand different kinds having been described. Three orders, HEMIPTERA; DIPTERA; and SIPHONAPTERA; are of medical interest in that they cause disease in humans and animals. (From Borror et al., An Introduction to the Study of Insects, 4th ed, p1)
The monitoring of the level of toxins, chemical pollutants, microbial contaminants, or other harmful substances in the environment (soil, air, and water), workplace, or in the bodies of people and animals present in that environment.
The science, art or practice of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock.